From remote working to online classes, cloud kitchens to financial transactions, Cloud Computing is one technology that underpins all digital business models. It’s no exaggeration to say that Cloud enables business.
Survey after survey has claimed that the Cloud Computing market continued to grow. As per a recent Gartner, Inc. forecast, the total public cloud services segment has grown from $270 billion in 2020 to $332.3 billion in 2021. Emerging technologies like containerization, Desktop as a Service (DaaS), and edge computing are driving major cloud spending.
As organizations recover back to the pre-covid levels, Cloud Computing is a powerful technology available at their disposal to accelerate transformation plans. Cloud Computing gives organizations the power to co-innovate with cloud service providers and offers intelligent digital solutions that are accessible, adaptable, and agile.
In this article, we will touch on the benefits of Cloud Computing and address some of the common questions around it.
There’s no doubt that business appetite for applications is on the rise. Business users are dependent on applications because of the numerous benefits like efficient operations, lesser manual processes, and quicker ROI. Certain applications like Microsoft 365, Salesforce, Adobe, AWS, Google Workspace etc are becoming an integral part of an organization’s enterprise information technology systems.
As per research conducted in 2018, on average a single organization uses 129 business applications. Not a very recent research but enough to ascertain the proliferation of business applications.
As application adoption accelerates, there is a growing need to manage the integration of various applications. Businesses need to make these applications work and communicate with each other. Enabling a highly connected IT environment is a must and it’s impossible without the cloud. Organizations are quickly turning to APIs and system integration platforms offering hybrid solutions (on-premises and cloud) for integrating various applications using the unmatched accessibility of cloud technologies.
Digital transformation cannot happen in silos hence organizations must utilize this attribute of cloud computing.
Organizations are new-age data banks. Digital Transformation projects like implementing Robotic Process Automation for streamlining manual tasks and building AI and ML models on existing datasets to prepare intelligent systems are all based on data. Security is the most important attribute when it comes to Digital Transformation projects. And as organizations rely on the cloud for their data projects, they need to secure challenging cloud environments.
BitGlass’s 2020 Cloud Security Report throws some interesting insights about Cloud Security. Around 33% of respondents admitted that they are extremely concerned about the security of the public cloud. While this sounds like Cloud is not as secure as required for data-critical projects, it is not entirely true. Public Cloud Solutions are second to none when it comes to data and application security.
At an industry level, cloud and network service providers are continuously making positive developments in making the cloud more secure. Industry news like Cisco’s recent partnership with JupiterOne to strengthen cloud security and Google Cloud’s recent progress for government clients to modernize its cloud security and compliance reassures that public clouds are levelling up their security and compliance efforts.
As organizations move more workloads to the cloud, build more cloud-native applications, and invest in cloud-based integration solutions, they need to employ additional cloud security strategies like
- Training all end-users about Cloud Data Criticality
- Using Multifactor Authentication
- Adhering to strict Compliance Standards
- Ensuring highly regulated access controls for Data-Critical Transformation projects
- Partnering with Managed Security Operations Center providers
- Planning for a Cloud-to-Cloud Backup and Disaster Recovery
When it comes to augmenting security for Digital Transformation plans, be it cloud or on-premises, organizations need to go beyond the boundaries of current cloud security infrastructure.
Many CIOs continue to see lower return versus investment ratios for their Digital Transformation plans. Modern IT departments typically operate with several technologies, applications, and a mix of in-house engineering teams, contract employees, and Digital Service Providers contributing to the increasing IT spending.
Gartner's prediction about worldwide IT spending is projected to be $4.5 trillion in 2022, nearly an increase of 5.5% from 2021.
Cloud brings in the PAYG (Pay-as-you-Go) model with the ability to innovate and build new applications and systems – that can be integrated with the current ecosystem in days and weeks. This property of Cloud Computing offsets the growing spending on the IT workforce and other initiatives. Software and IT teams can dramatically reduce the time of rolling out new products, therefore, accelerating the time-to-market.
On average, cloud migration saves around 15% on all IT spending. SMBs derive the most benefit out of the cloud by spending 36% less money on IT. (Source: OpsRamp, Skyhigh Networks, Directive)
Moving to the cloud is not an inexpensive proposition. But organizations benefit from cloud pricing models, faster time to market, better employee productivity, and opportunities for innovation making it a Business outcome-driven initiative.
Scalability can be defined as the system’s or application’s characteristics to manage increasing loads on-demand. Cloud works on the virtualization principle where virtual machines can be spun up based on business needs. Virtual machines are highly flexible and can manage increasing applications and workloads on a need basis.
Cloud infrastructure allows vertical and horizontal scaling. In vertical scaling, storage or processing power can be added as the platform needs to grow. This increases the current system’s ability to hold more data or increase in computing power. Horizontal scaling enables adding more servers to the current systems dividing workloads across virtual machines ensuring businesses have the highest available uptime and improved performance.
Scalability is the most sought attribute of Digital Transformation programs as well. Dynamically scalable programs cater to the changing customers’ needs without compromising on speed and quality of delivery. Cloud enhances an organization’s capability to scale and improve the operational efficiency of IT departments.
Cloud Elasticity refers to the ability to scale up and shrink down based on the requirements. This includes CPU, memory, and storage requirements based on fluctuating usage requirements.
Cloud Costs is always an area for concern for organizations. If not monitored, the costs can go out of hand. A recent survey state that more than 77% of the organizations were surprised by how the cloud costs are rising for them. Also, they feel it’s wastage of time and resources for engineers to track the cloud costs. No doubt, there’s an overall increase in cloud usage but there’s also an exponential rise in cloud wastage.
Digital Transformation plans are governed by budgets and they should keep track of unwanted costs. Without cloud elasticity, organizations will end up paying more than the expected or required resources. Although there are manual processes to scale up and down cloud resources, organizations must invest in AI-ML powered cloud monitoring tools to determine if excess storage or computing resources can be decommissioned.
Cloud Computing offers tremendous automation opportunities when compared with the old-school approach of on-premises servers that relies on manual processes.
Cloud makes it easier for establishing Infrastructure as Code practices, automated Back-Ups, provisioning Version Control for workflows, administering Security Controls through user access, and the Platform as a Service model.
Organizations are trying to build “digital-first” business models and the cloud is the core. It enables Data-Oriented, Highly Adaptable, Asset Light, and Anywhere Services. Cloud is instrumental in enabling digital model by giving access to ‘Everything-as-a-service' model building multiple automation processes to create a well-oiled Orchestration system. As these models become more prevalent, humans will work alongside automation to boost their cognitive abilities and skills.
Questions around Cloud Computing and Digital Transformation
We are already making good progress in our Digital Transformation plans. What are the new cloud computing use cases that can be implemented in our business?
That’s a very subjective question. It depends on what are you doing currently. To answer your questions briefly, you can explore these use cases of Cloud Computing –
- Migrate less business-critical applications to Public Cloud
- Build your Private Cloud for business-critical applications
- Modernize existing on-premises legacy applications using Cloud
- Transform IT Operations
- Select SaaS applications for business processes
We are worried about Public Cloud Security. How to ensure our workloads, applications, and data are secured in Cloud?
The onus of Cloud Security lies with both Cloud Service Providers and users. Cyberattacks are getting sophisticated every passing minute. While leading cloud service providers are doing a lot in securing clients’ data, workloads, and applications, organizations also need to work towards ensuring their cloud safety.
Ensure that your software engineering teams are well-trained and educated about cloud security. Invest in DevSecOps from day one, deploy Multifactor authentication, build Zero-Trust architectures for your business applications. And if budget is not an issue, explore Private Clouds.
Which cloud is most suited for our business objectives?Well again, it’s a very subjective question. Applications with less-critical data and highly fluctuating workloads are suited for the public cloud. Mission-critical data with strict regulatory compliance (if failed can cost you business) are better off in a private cloud. Hybrid clouds are good for businesses that have mix and match data and workload requirements. Ensure that you are employing a Multi-Cloud strategy to avoid vendor lock-in.
How Qentelli can help us in our Cloud Computing initiatives?
Qentelli provides a full array of cloud services. Our range of cloud services works at the intersection of Cost, Speed, and Innovation helping clients to realize their cloud investments fully. We help in Cloud Migration and Application Modernization, Lean Enterprise, DevOps and DevSecOps, Cloud Security, and Infrastructure Services to create lasting success for our clients. To know how we can help you with your cloud projects or assess your current cloud infrastructure, get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org
Digital Transformation is ‘not possible’ without Cloud Computing
Digital Transformation plans are at mercy of how well-strategized cloud transformation is. A traditional infrastructure can be a challenge for organizations to tap into new opportunities. Whether organizations are extending their healthcare infrastructure, streaming new content for their customers, employing robots for their warehouse units, or launching their next cloud quick-service restaurants, the cloud is the driver for every new business possibility.
Irrespective of the Digital Transformation objectives, Cloud Computing is a mandate for transforming businesses. The Cloud Computing model is creating cost-savings and innovation opportunities – ones with the ability to sync modern and legacy systems, extending products and services to anyone and anywhere, and building highly resilient business models. Companies are increasingly using cloud platforms to operate at scale and deliver value for businesses. We hope you don’t delay your cloud journey and start your cloud initiatives today.